Parts of Speech Help (page 2)
Introduction to Parts of Speech
Use the following chart to reacquaint yourself with the parts of speech.
|Part of Speech||Function||Examples|
|Noun, pronoun||Names a person, place, or thing||Elliot, President Adams, cat, he, she, them|
|Verb||Provides the action or state of being||fly, stand, walk, count, is, are, be|
|Adjective||Modifies or describes a noun||tall, noisy, blue, hot|
|Adverb||Modifies or describes a verb, adjective, or other adverb||noisily, easily, hardly|
|Preposition||Introduces a relationship between a noun or pronoun and other words in a sentence||on, in, up, over, to|
|Conjunction||Joins words, phrases, and clauses||and, but, or, yet|
|Interjection||Expresses emotion||ah, oh, wow|
|Article||Identifies or points out a noun||a, an, the|
One way to understand English grammar is to think of words as having two names: a grammatical name, called a part of speech, and a function name that tells what it does in the sentence. Look at the following sentence:
The tennis ball hit the opponent on his head.
Why is it important to know and understand this concept? The simple answer is that correct English usage depends upon it. The following examples will explain this. First, think of the pronouns he and him. The pronoun he functions as the subject of a sentence. Him functions as an object. The different function categories of pronouns are explained later in this chapter.
He hit the opponent on the head. (He is the subject and hit is the verb.)
He hit him on the head. (He is the subject, hit is the verb, and him is the object who received the hit.)
As you can see in the following example, function is extremely important in choosing the correct pronoun.
Him hit he. (An object pronoun, him, cannot be used as a subject, and a subject pronoun, he, cannot be used as the object.)
You will have an opportunity to study the complete pronoun list and their functions later in the chapter. For now, you just need to remember that I, he, and she are subject pronouns and that me, her, and him are object pronouns.
Parts of Speech Practice and Answers
Write your correction for each sentence on the lines provided.
- Him and me share a job. _____
- Tim and him share a job. _____
- This pizza is for Betsy and I. _____
- The argument is between Marcus and I. _____
- Tim and me are happy about the new arrangement. _____
1. He and I… 2. Tim and he… 3. …for Betsy and me. 4. …between Marcus and me. 5. Tim and I…
Versatility of English Words
A sentence must have a subject and a verb to be a complete sentence. You have seen that subjects are either nouns or pronouns. Look at the following examples:
James (noun) played the comical (adjective) part to perfection.
He (pronoun) played the comical (adjective) part to perfection.
Can you simply decide to have an adjective function in place of the noun or pronoun?
Comical played the James part to perfection.
Obviously you can't. Comical did not play the part; James did.
Interestingly, though, English words have great versatility. For example, consider the word play. How many different functions can it perform?
Subject: The play takes two hours to perform. (The noun play is what the sentence is about; it's what takes [verb] the time.)
Verb: James will play the lead part. (The verb will play tells what the subject will do.)
Modifier: The children love the play area. (The adjective play describes or modifies the noun area.)
Object: Tom made the best play of the game. (The noun play is the object of the verb made.)
Now experiment with the word work.
Subject: Work starts at 8 A.M. sharp. (The noun work is what the sentence is about; it's what starts [verb] at 8 A.M.)
Verb: Karra works fifty hours per week. (The verb works tells what Karra does.)
Object: Karra does many hours of work each week. (The noun work is the object of the preposition of; of work modifies hours.)
Adjective: The plumber's work permit allows him to install all new pipes. (The adjective work modifies or describes the noun permit.)
You probably agree that one English word can carry out many functions, depending upon the meaning of the sentence.
Parts of Speech Additional Practice and Answers
In each of the following sentences, identify the underlined word as subject, verb, object, or modifier. The first one is done for you.
- You should paint the room white.
- The paint comes in three shades of red. _____
- The salesperson gave us a paint chart from which we chose a color.
- Then she mixed the paint. _____
- Paint is an easy solution to a decorating problem. _____
- A comment appeared in our local newspaper. _____
- Then the losing candidate made a comment about the voting equipment. _____
- I don't comment on other people's parenting skills. _____
- You can nurse that bird back to health and then release it in the forest.
- A release regarding his decision appeared on his blog. _____
1. verb 2. subject 3. modifier 4. object 5. subject 6. subject 7. object 8. verb 9. verb 10. subject
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